Citi has appointed industry heavyweight Mark Slaughter as its new head of corporate and investment banking for Asia-Pacific after Farhan Faruqui left the US bank last month to join ANZ.
Slaughter, a former Goldman Sachs veteran and a qualified nuclear scientist, is Citi’s second-most senior investment banker and was most recently its global chief operating officer for corporate and investment banking.
He has already moved to Hong Kong from New York and his appointment is effective immediately.
“Mark is one of our most senior leaders and his appointment will allow us to continue our momentum in the region and help deliver to our clients the breadth and depth of Citi’s global network,” Raymond J McGuire, Citi’s global head of corporate and investment banking, said in a statement.
The appointment of Slaughter, 58, suggests Citi has successfully filled the void left by the departure of Faruqui, who spent 23 years at the bank before joining ANZ as chief executive of the Australian bank’s international business.
Faruqui oversaw the successful merger of Citi’s corporate and investment banking operations in the region when he became head of global banking for Asia-Pacific in 2009, having previously held various senior management roles at Citi both in Europe and Asia.
The move to combine operations, with Faruqui at the helm, has played a significant role in improving the performance of Citi in Asia. In 2009, Citi was fourth in the Dealogic mergers and acquisitions banking league table for Asia-Pacific, ninth for equity capital markets and third for debt issuance. As of Thursday, Citi was third in the M&A rankings for this year, third in ECM and first in debt capital markets.
Slaughter has his work cut out to maintain this level of performance because investment banking revenues in the region are being crimped due to a slowdown in deal activity. According to Dealogic, investment banking revenues for Asia ex-Japan have fallen from $11.7 billion in 2010 to $8.8 billion in 2013, with ECM particularly hit, falling from $6.3 billion to $2.9 billion, respectively.
Slaughter, who has served on the board of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, has wasted no time in getting stuck in. On Thursday, he led a town hall meeting at Citi’s Hong Kong headquarters with McGuire and Stephen Bird, Asia-Pacific chief executive, for the bank’s several hundred corporate and investment bankers in the region.
A source familiar with the matter said that, when asked what his first priority was, Slaughter remarked: “To continue the momentum we have in Asia, which represents one of the biggest opportunities for our corporate and investment bank globally.”
Insiders at Citi say Slaughter has a sharp brain, no doubt gleaned from his nuclear physicist days, and is known to take quick decisions.
Slaughter began his career at Westinghouse (Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory) in 1979, before becoming a lawyer at a prominent New York law firm.
In 1986 he joined Goldman Sachs in Europe and spent nearly 20 years there, including a stint as chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs International from 2000 to 2005.
Slaughter joined Citi in 2005, serving as chief operating officer of global investment banking from 2005 to 2009, before taking a role outside the bank as chief administrative officer of Investcorp, the private equity firm.
However, he returned to Citi in 2011 as head of human capital and rejoined the corporate and investment banking division in 2013.
Bird said in a statement that his appointment to the region underlined the importance of Asia to Citi’s global corporate and investment banking franchise.
“The appointment of such a seasoned banker with knowledge of corporate and investment banking demonstrates Citi's commitment to cross-leverage their integrated platform and shows how important Asia is to the bank,” Nick Green, managing director at GreenGroup Executive, one of Asia's leading financial services headhunters, told FinanceAsia.
Slaughter is not the only recent Citi appointment in Asia from outside the region. The bank in April appointed Patrick Dewilde as Asia-Pacific head of markets and securities services. Dewilde was most recently global head of local markets risk treasury and markets head for Southeast Africa, Turkey and Israel, having joined Citi in 1983.
Dewilde also became a member of the Asia-Pacific operating committee, executive committee and global markets management committee. He reports to Bird and Paco Ybarra, global head of markets and securities services.
A Citi spokesman told FinanceAsia the moves were proof Asia could still attract top global talent.